Combating Side-Channel Attacks Using Key Management

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Executive Summary

Embedded devices are widely used in military and civilian operations. They are often unattended, publicly accessible, and thus vulnerable to physical capture. Tamper-resistant modules are popular for protecting sensitive data such as cryptographic keys in these devices. However, recent studies have shown that adversaries can effectively extract the sensitive data from tamper-resistant modules by launching semi-invasive side-channel attacks such as power analysis and laser scanning. This paper proposes an effective key management scheme to harden embedded devices against side-channel attacks. This technique leverages the bandwidth limitation of side channels and employs an effective updating mechanism to prevent the keying materials from being exposed.

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